Mem.—Anno, 1796. At a dinner at Mr. M. P.'s, in—Street, Mr. R. in the presence of Mr. William Pitt, (then Minister) took me aside, and told me that they had read my Pamphlet on Law Taxes; that the reasons against them were unanswerable, and it was determined there should be no more of them.
Anno, 1804, July 10, 12, 14, 18.—This being in the number of Mr. Addington's Taxes, Mr. Pitt, upon returning to office, took up all those Taxes in the lump. On the above days, this Tax was opposed in the House of Commons: and Mr. Wyndham, according to the report in the Times, on one of those days, spoke of this Pamphlet as containing complete information on the subject; observing at the same time, that it was out of print. On behalf of administration, nothing like an answer to any of the objections was attempted: only the Attorney-General (Percival) said, that the addition proposed to those Taxes, was no more than equal to the depreciation of money.
Mr. Addington, before this, had recourse to the Tax on Medicine here spoken of, (p. 22.) So that, in the course of his short administration, if the representation here given be correct, he had had the misfortune to find out and impose the two worst species of taxation possible. Compare this with Denmark, and its courts of Natural Procedure, called Reconciliation Courts.
26th February, 1816.—Unalleviated by any adequate hope of use, too painful would be the task, of hunting out, and holding up to view, the subsequent additions, which this worst of oppressions has, in this interval of twenty years, been receiving.
Money, it is said, must be had, and no other taxes can be found. The justification being conclusive, the tax receives its increase: next year, from the same hand, flow others in abundance.
Grievous enough is the Income Tax, called, lest it should be thought to be what it is, the Property Tax.—Grievous that tax is, whatever be its name; yet, sum for sum, compared with this tax, it is a blessing. Instead of 10 per cent. suppose it 80 per cent. Less bad would it be to add yet another 10 per cend. than a tax to an equal amount upon justice.
Grievous have been the additions, so lately and repeatedly made, to the taxes on Conveyances and Agreements. Extensive the prohibitory part of the effect, though the pressure,—confined as usual to the poor, i.e. the great majority of the community, who have none to speak for them,—is scarcely complained of by the rich. Yet, were all law-taxes taken off, and the amount thrown upon Conveyances and Agreements, this—even this—would in reality be an indulgence.
Whether the oppression be more or less grievous, is never worth a thought. Will it be submitted to?—This is the only question. Charity is kicked out of doors. Hope is fled. Faith and piety remain, and atone for every thing.
For a list of about twenty-eight other sources of factitious delay, vexation, and expense, and thence of denial of justice, produced by the judges of former times, for the augmentation of lawyers' profit, their own included,—together with a list and summary account of the devices by which these burthens have been imposed, and by which Technical stands distinguished from Natural Procedure,—see by the same author, Scotch Reform, &c. printed for Ridgway, Piccadilly.